The sun sets on the New Day

Posted by Martin Stott

It was a forlorn hope, a dying man’s last pistol shot. The launch of the New Day was greeted positively by the UK media in a burst of newsprint nostalgia but few outside Trinity Mirror really believed a new national newspaper could succeed.

In a world where content is king, the stories, pictures and features in the New Day were simply not powerful enough or original enough to persuade 200,000 people to part with 50p every weekday.

That’s about £130 a year. To put that into context, the Times’ weekday deal is £208 and includes papers Monday to Friday, 7-day website access and a £20 National Trust gift card. If you’re going to pay for news, you might as well get a lot of news for your money.

The New Day had a small editorial staff ill-equipped to produce that original content and so relied on creatively finding original angles in stories that may already have appeared online through other media.

So, the business model involved trying to sell people a product they had fallen out of love with, a one they could get for free elsewhere. That is a hard sell.

It called to mind Coca-Cola’s disastrous attempts to market its Dasani-brand bottled water in the UK back in 2004. News got out that the product was simply treated tapwater and the press had a field day.

There was no such carping when the New Day folded, of course. Few journalists wished to anger the capricious news gods when every newspaper in the country is looking to cut costs, make savings and meet the challenges of the digital era. See our infographic.

Appropriately enough, the deepest of these ongoing cuts happened the very month the New Day launched, as the Independent ceased its lossmaking print edition.

It was first published in 1986 as a rival to the Times and the Telegraph, when print titles had a monopoly over quality news reporting.

One of three national newspapers to be introduced within a five-year period, it outlasted Today (1986-1995), up against the Mail and the Express, and the Sunday Correspondent that briefly (1989-1990) traded circulation blows with the Independent on Sunday and the Observer.

So, when the New Day was launched, it was justifiably heralded as the first new national daily newspaper to launch for 30 years.

In retrospect, this fact did not commend it to the market so much as sound a dire warning as to its chances of survival.

The Bulletin team is made up of former journalists so is saddens us to see titles close but the media landscape is always evolving and as it does so, there are new and interesting opportunities to explore for our clients.

Some of our clients

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